The Web and Semantic Knowledge Technology



an overview by John Davies, BT exact


The vision of the SEKT project

The Internet constitutes the largest body of knowledge ever to have existed. However, knowledge is only valuable if you can find it and apply it. The SEKT project is developing automated techniques for extracting meaning from the Web (and other similarly accessible sources of information). By generating structured descriptions of Web pages (using ontologies) SEKT is making those pages machine-processable and enabling computers to analyse information more intelligently.


  • Puts the users in control, freeing them from routine tasks to concentrate on value-creation.
  • Enables a much greater degree of automation than current systems.
  • Incorporates knowledge from different sources to support business and professional goals.
  • Uses (semi) automatic intelligent production of web-based ontologies.
  • Enables knowledge delivery to a range of appropriate devices (PC, PDA, 3G phone, etc) in appropriate formats.

SEKT aims for solutions designed to integrate seamlessly with day-to-day business tasks, allowing proactive delivery of knowledge without user intervention. Three case studies ensure industrial relevance. They will test the technology and enable feedback into research.These case studies, in the areas of law, IT consultancy and digital libraries, utilise three major European languages: Spanish, German and English. The SEKT architecture will build on agreed international standards and by closely working together with other initiatives in this area, we ensure maximum impact of our activities.

The advanced use of ontologies is a key capability developed in the SEKT project:

The ontologies used by SEKT will provide much richer descriptive frameworks than the strictly hierarchical taxonomies which the most advanced current commercial knowledge systems use.

The use of ontologies, and the ability to reason with ontologies, are the key components of the next generation of semantic knowledge technologies. SEKT is developing better techniques for creating and managing ontologies, populating them with metadata, and reasoning with them.

Although there will always be times when human interaction is needed, SEKT will enable a much greater degree of automation than current systems employ.

SEKT is paving the way for the introduction of semantic web technologies, in particular by researching the key technologies supporting the use of ontologies and ontologically-represented knowledge. Ontologies make possible an understanding of a domain which can be shared between people, or between computers to create a semantic web.

SEKT is developing techniques for the (semi) automatic generation of ontologies and extraction of metadata. Once this has been done, reasoning can be undertaken to make deductions from the ontology and the associated metadata.

John Davies gives a general introduction to the domain of semantic knowledge technology.

You may view the presentation slides, or view the slides together with a complete video presentation (MPEG video viewable with, Windows mediaplayer)

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